Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary who once again managed to extend her permitted walk as far as Regent’s Park where she found a favourite restful corner to enjoy.
It was still grey and drizzly this morning, but the heavy winds of the past two days had eased off a lot and when the drizzle stopped, it was quite a suitable day for wandering round the garden.
I wandered from time to time.
The frost survivors among the rhododendrons and azaleas are still doing their best to cheer us up…
…but the gap that the frost has left in the garden is still hard to bear.
The recent rain has now got up to an inch and half as recorded by Mary Jo’s rain gauge. This is fine for the broad beans which are looking good but the peony and tulips have found it a bit much.
A burst of heavier rain put paid to the morning street coffee meeting and I watched the birds instead.
Greenfinches and sparrows were the flavour of the morning…
…and a sparrow was happy to watch a greenfinch trying the seed before having a go itself.
The rain stopped and we went out into the garden to do useful tasks (Mrs Tootlepedal) and footle about looking for raindrops (me).
The view down the back path is always rich at this time of year.
When I had finished footling about, I went in and did something more purposeful. I made some potato and carrot soup for lunch and while it was cooking, I made 30 ginger biscuits. There was a bit of a snack crisis as the boiled cake had been polished off when we drank our coffee earlier in the morning.
After lunch, I went for a short walk to fill in the time before our virtual Carlisle Choir meeting.
I chose a familiar route. After two months of lockdown and about thirty local walks, there is no other option than to choose a familiar route and this makes it harder than usual to try to find something unfamiliar to see as I go along. If the truth be told, I am probably finding it harder to look too as I subconsciously feel that there won’t be anything much new to see even if I did look carefully.
Looking down, I did notice the more noticeable today…
…and looking around, i couldn’t miss the frost damaged trees among the spring greenery.
As I was walking along the Becks track, I was considering whether I would have time to walk up to the track on Warbla on my way home, but a glance across the valley revealed cattle sitting right on the path across the grass that I would use to get up to the track…
…so when I had crossed the Auld Stane Brig…
…I went through the frost damaged trees along Gaskell’s Walk instead.
When I got to the Stubholm, I checked on a blackthorn to see if there are going to be any sloes this year. The signs are good and as a bonus, there was some interesting lichen on the branch that I was inspecting.
Instead of going straight home when I got to the park, I walked down to the Esk to see if the oyster catcher was still on its nest.
… but a bit further up the river, I found another adult with a very young chick. The adult made it hard for me to see the nipper, and the chick didn’t help by turning its back on me…
…but in the end, they co-operated.
I got home in good time and Mrs Tootlepedal and I settled down in front of my laptop to see what a virtual choir practice would be like on Zoom. It was very well organised and well over 50 choir members had logged on to take part. Ellen, our energetic director, had done a lot of preparatory work and everything went very smoothly and we were encouraged to sing, but there is no doubt that singing by ourselves at home while hearing only only one other singer (Ellen at the piano) is not really choral singing. Still, it was fun to see the other choir members and the virtual meeting had the feeling of an occasion, even if not a choral one.
The weather had greatly improved by the time that we emerged into daylight from peering at the computer and I did think of going for a cycle ride but the call of lawn maintenance was strong and I mowed the greenhouse grass, the drying green and the middle lawn instead. We then had our second Zoom meeting of the afternoon when we chatted with my brother, one of his sons and my sisters.
After our evening meal, I went out into the garden to enjoy the sunny evening…
…and the colour matching between car and clematis.
The wind had dropped and I was sorry that the day hadn’t worked out so that I could have enjoyed these ideal conditions, but you can’t have everything.
Not all the colour in the garden is floral…
…but the late evening light was kind to the colours and the bees were really enjoying the cotoneaster on the wall of the house…
…while I enjoyed an Icelandic poppy.
I hope to get back to cycling tomorrow.
The flying bird of the day was not one that the greenfinch approved of.